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[en] In order to increase energy security, production of renewable energies has been highly promoted by governments around the world in recent years. The typical base of various policy instruments used for this purpose is gross energy output of renewable energy. However, we show that basing policy instruments on gross energy output will result in problems associated with energy waste, economic inefficiency, and negative environmental effects. We recommend using net energy output as the base to apply price or quantity measures because it is net energy output, not gross energy output, which contributes to energy security. The promotion of gross energy output does not guarantee a positive amount of net energy output. By basing policy instruments on net energy output, energy security can be enhanced and the above mentioned problems can be avoided.
[en] A district space heating and cooling system using geothermal energy from bearing piles was designed in Shanghai and will be installed in two years before 2010. This paper describes the pile-foundation heat exchangers applied in an energy pile system for an actual architectural complex in Shanghai, 30% of whose cooling/heating load was designed to be provided by a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) system using the energy piles. In situ performance tests of heat transfer are carried out to figure out the most efficient type of energy pile and to specify the design of energy pile system. Numerical investigation is also performed to confirm the test results and to demonstrate the medium temperature variations along the pipes. The averaged heat resistance and heat injection rate of different types of energy piles are calculated from the test and numerical results. The effect of pile type, medium flow rate and inlet temperature on thermal performance is separately discussed. From the viewpoint of energy efficiency and adjustability, the W-shaped underground heat exchanger with moderate medium flow rate is finally adopted for the energy pile system
[en] The development of microsatellites requires the development of engines to modify their orbit. It is natural to use solar energy to drive such engines. For an unlimited energy source the optimal thruster must use a minimal amount of expendable material to minimize launch costs. This requires the ejected material to have the maximal velocity and, hence, the ejected atoms must be as light as possible and be ejected by as high an energy density source as possible. Such a propulsion can be induced by pulses from an ultra-short laser. The ultra-short laser provides the high-energy concentration and high-ejected velocity. We suggest a microthruster system comprised of an inflatable solar concentrator, a solar panel, and a diode-pumped fiber laser. We will describe the system design and give weight estimates.
[en] A novel nuclear astrophysics facility, CLAIRE (Center for Low Energy Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary REsearch), is being designed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to address the need for precise fusion cross section measurements at near-solar energies (∼20 keV). At these low energies, fusion cross sections decrease exponentially with energy and are expected to approach femtobarn levels or less. In order to measure such small cross sections, the CLAIRE facility will incorporate a versatile accelerator capable of transporting high current (>100 mA), low energy (50-300 keV) ion beams with a tight focus (<1 cm) to a cooled, dense gas-jet target. The conceptual design for this accelerator is discussed, and simulations of both beam extraction and transport are presented
[en] The adoption of an innovation is partly dependent on the consumers' perception of the product attributes, starting with the 'relative advantage' a product may have over another existing product, and also include issues of compatibility, complexity, observability and trialability. Using diffusion of innovations theory as a conceptual framework, this paper describes a case study that investigated the innovation adoption process that a group of identified potential adopters of domestic solar thermal systems stated they would follow. Data was generated from the results of a postal survey to a group of 43 defined innovators and a group of 350 assumed 'early majority', pragmatic consumers. The survey results showed that while the pragmatic customers did follow the process as theorised in diffusion theory, the innovators disregarded the observability attributes of the innovation and went ahead with implementation without having seen the products beforehand. The group of innovators was also split in their opinion that 'complexity' may be a limiting factor. There were differences in the pragmatic group between certain demographic sub groups. Conclusions are drawn on how the findings may impact marketing activities
[en] This paper discusses some energy scenarios for photovoltaic applications in Brazil engendered by using SWERA database in order to demonstrate its potential for feasibility analysis and application in the energy planning for electricity generation. It discusses two major different markets: hybrid PV-Diesel installations in mini-grids of the off-grid Brazilian electricity system in the Amazon region, and grid-connected PV in urban areas of the interconnected Brazilian electricity system. The potential for using PV is huge, and can be estimated in tens to hundreds of MWp in the Amazon region alone, even if only a fraction of the existing Diesel-fired plants with a total installed capacity of over 620 MVA would fit to run in an optimum Diesel/PV mix. Most of the major cities in Brazil present greater electricity demand in summertime with the demand peak happening in the daytime period. This energy profile match the actual solar resource assessment provided by SWERA Data Archive, enabling grid-connected PV systems to provide an important contribution to the utility's capacity
[en] One of the attractions of developing bioenergy systems is the potential for job creation and economic development of rural economies. This paper seeks to quantify the expected employment impacts of individual bioenergy developments. The assessment includes agricultural labour growing energy crops for SRC and miscanthus options, transport and processing of the feedstock, staffing at the thermal conversion plant, employment within the equipment supply chain and the induced employment impact. Power only bioenergy systems are shown to typically create 1.27 man years of employment per GWh electricity produced, regardless of technology or scale of implementation. CHP systems can create more than 2 man years of employment per GWh electricity produced, although most of this enhanced economic impact can be attributed to the fact that a comparative analysis per unit of electricity produced ignores the heat output of the system. (author)
[en] This special issue on Solar energy and nano materials for clean energy development is composed of selected, full-length versions of papers presented during the international Solar 09 conference that was held in the fascinating historical city of Luxon. The conference gathered scientists from 26 countries, to discuss outstanding research on a multitude of topics and disciplines. As was pointed out by Professor Paul Barbara from the University of Texas in Austin at the opening session of the conference, this medium-sized conference offered the unique opportunity to learn and exchange scientific issues from distinct disciplines that have one main thing in common, solar photons. This exceptional opportunity to learn about other fields of research not only required particular didactic skills form the speakers, but also demanded special attention and openness from the audience.
[en] Geothermal binary power plants that use low-temperature heat sources have gained increasing interest in the recent years due to political efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of finite energy resources. The construction of such plants requires large amounts of energy and material. Hence, the question arises if geothermal binary power plants are also environmentally promising from a cradle-to-grave point of view. In this context, a comprehensive Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on geothermal power production from EGS (enhanced geothermal systems) low-temperature reservoirs is performed. The results of the analysis show that the environmental impacts are very much influenced by the geological conditions that can be obtained at a specific site. At sites with (above-) average geological conditions, geothermal binary power generation can significantly contribute to more sustainable power supply. At sites with less favorable conditions, only certain plant designs can make up for the energy and material input to lock up the geothermal reservoir by the provided energy. The main aspects of environmentally sound plants are enhancement of the reservoir productivity, reliable design of the deep wells and an efficient utilization of the geothermal fluid for net power and district heat production.